A trip to Orlando

Why is it that vacations fly by in the blink of an eye? It’s so unfair. Justin and I had some plans fall through for October 1, so we decided to take an impromptu trip to Orlando and make it a long weekend of fun! We tried Priceline for the first time and had a great experience; our hotel was really nice (and a great location, right across from Sea World)! They even greeted us with champagne at check in; always a good sign!

When we arrived at the hotel on Thursday afternoon, we only had time to make a quick change of clothes and then it was off to Universal City Walk. We had to get something to eat before attending Halloween Horror Nights! Naturally, we were drawn in by Pat O’Brien’s and their enormous hurricanes.

Don’t worry: we had dinner too. See?

Next: onward to Halloween Horror Nights! I wasn’t really able to take a lot of photos, as it grew dark shortly after entering the park. I have to say: we were SO glad that we went! Universal Studios does a fantastic job with Halloween Horror Nights. There were plenty of haunted houses, some of the regular rides were open (Jaws at night; fun!), and the lines weren’t too bad on a Thursday night…we waited about 5 minutes at each house, with the exception of one. I wasn’t really scared about any of the houses; it is all mind over matter I guess! The actors can’t touch you…all they can do is follow you around, jump out around corners, and make creepy breathing noises in your ear. However, there were tons of girls screaming and clutching the guys with them…fake screams I think. Just my opinion, but in my experience, when you are actually scared, it is reallllly hard to scream. At least, that is how it goes for me, which probably doesn’t bode well if I’m ever in REAL danger. Anyway, moving on…

My favorite scare zone of the night was the next one: it was apparently something to do with acid…there were guys running around in burlap hoods and goggles, and there was a lady…in a box…filled with rats! I thought it was clever.

Anyway, we were exhausted after a full night of fun. We collapsed back at the hotel and got ready for day #2 of fun at Sea World! Whee!

More on that later. Anyway, after a long and hot day marveling at sea creatures, we decided to try out a restaurant recommended to us: Hawkers! I was really excited to have some Asian tapas…yum yum! We shared a few small plates for dinner and left feeling satisfied but not stuffed. I was sad to experience inattentive service (our water and wine glasses were empty for around 20 minutes at one point…an order never got put in to the kitchen…and our waitress was clearly going to the tables on either side of us constantly, skipping us almost every time. Sigh), but I am happy to say that the food absolutely  made up for it. Seriously: awesome. We started with some stir fried veggies and spring rolls:


Next was fried green beans and pork Bahn Mi sliders. Both were amazing. The green beans were very lightly battered, which added crunch, but not too much. The 5 spices sprinkled on the beans were so interesting; there was definitely cinnamon or another spice similar to it involved…I couldn’t put my finger on it, but they were not all savory! And, I pretty much could have eaten an entire Bahn Mi sandwich at regular size. Delicious!


Finally: Udon noodles with chicken. I am seriously still thinking about them this morning. I could go for a few more plates of these. So. Good.


Ok ok, moving on. Saturday was another full day: we had park hopper passes for Disney that were going to expire in November, so we decided to take advantage of them. We started off with Animal Kingdom. It was our first time there and I was really impressed! The park was beautiful, and there were some great animals to see. Check it out; one of the tigers came right up to the window!


We made a quick stop at Downtown Disney to grab lunch. Park food: blech. Not my favorite, to be honest. Wolfgang Puck Express Chinois chicken salad? Much better.


Next, it was off to Disney Hollywood Studios for the second half of the day. I also had never visited this park before. I actually preferred Animal Kingdom though. I don’t do roller coasters or rides with drops (like Tower of Terror); it felt like there wasn’t a huge amount of things to do in the park other than some shows (we did get to see the stunt driving show; cool!). Justin and I did visit the new Star Wars flight simulator ride, which was fun, but we ended up getting STUCK inside it for about 5 minutes or so. With the seatbelts locked. Cue: claustrophobia!


We ended our day with a trip to Season’s 52 for dinner, followed by a McDonald’s drive-by for McFlurries (gotta keep it classy). Then, before heading back to reality and home, we decided to visit the outlets…and Marshalls/TJ Maxx! Are you shocked? You really shouldn’t be. I picked up some great new items that I’m sure I’ll be sharing with you soon. Then, it was time for lunch outside at a Mediterranean restaurant before the trek home…


Now…it’s back to the grind…and counting the days to our very belated HONEYMOON (it’s in sight!).

Have you had a fun filled long weekend lately (or hope to have one soon)? What did you do/hope to do?


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  • This sounds like such a fun and delicious long weekend! I wish we were that close to Orlando. We’ve been to that area once on vacation and loved it.

  • The Aerosmith roller coaster was probably the smoothest roller coaster I had ever been on. Not too scary or fast, pretty fun.

    I was petrified to go on the Tower of Terror but it was actually pretty good. Maybe because you’re enclosed?

    • Hm, good to know about the Aerosmith coaster if I’m ever back in that park! I still don’t like rides like that…but maybe…if there wasn’t a line and time for me to change my mind…haha!

  • Your weekend sounds like so much fun! And I’ve never tried Priceline so I definitely need to remember that for the future… champagne upon check- in… I like that

  • Wow – y’all packed a lot into a short amount of time. Looks like a ton of fun! Bummer abt the service at Hawkers but the food looks amazingly yummy!

  • Oooh, Hawkers! sounds delish! Going to Orlando in a few weeks for a bachelorette party and may need to try this place, thanks! Sounds like you had a great weekend

  • So with the exception of this year and one other year, I’ve been to HHC every year since 7th grade. So much fun! But, I definitely scream every time and it’s not fake. I genuinely react that way every time I get scared haha.

    • Isn’t that always how it goes? I live so close to the beach but I don’t go nearly as often as I should/could!

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